Shane Todd: I'm 10-out-of-10 fit. In fact my GP said he's never seen anything like it

Gail Bell asks experts and people in the public eye what keeps them going. This week: Holywood comedian Shane Todd

Co Down comedian Shane Todd is on an extended stand-up tour of Ireland – which shouldn't take a bit out of him, given how many eggs he eats
Gail Bell

1 Up and at it – what is your morning routine?

I usually get up at 5am as I’m not really a sleeper. Most mornings I will get on my bike and cycle down to a nearby beach for a quick dip in the sea. I find that always gets me energised for a day of writing and drinking tea.

2 What might you eat in a typical working day for...

Breakfast? I’ve eaten the same breakfast since I was about six years old – four eggs and a few Jaffa cakes. It’s just a habit now.

Lunch? For lunch, it’s usually a big omelette and a drink of carrot juice. Lunch for me is usually 'on the go'. I always tend to eat this meal in a car park.

Evening meal? I love a good dinner. Tonight, I’m having steak and eggs. I like to take a good two hours for dinner and then listen to a lot of music – Simply Red or The Hoosiers are up there among the favourites.

3 Is nutrition important to you?

Nutrition is definitely important for me as a stand-up comedian. Because I travel a lot, I have to make sure I’m putting good food into my body. A good rule of choosing somewhere to eat when I travel is how friendly the staff are. I know that sounds weird, but if the staff are rude, it usually means good food. On the other hand, if they’re 'dead on' and ask what your plans are for the rest of the night, I have found the standard is – most probably – awful.

4 Best meal ever?

When I was shooting a pilot TV show for Comedy Central in 2009, I got to share a sandwich with Enrique Iglesias which was pretty cool. The sandwich was pretty good too.

5 Do you have a guilty pleasure?

Eggs. Apart from that, I would probably say duck. I love duck – the bigger, the better.

6 Have you ever been on a diet? If so, how did it go?

I went on the Atkins diet about 10 years ago to support my dad (Denzel) who had put on a lot of weight. I think I lasted a week.

7 Do you take health supplements?

I’ve never been one for supplements. I think they can be a bit of a myth. If I feel run down, I eat a lot of paprika, but that’s about it. (Beneficial compounds include vitamin A, capsaicin and carotenoid antioxidants).

8 How do you relax?

I like to play snooker... after a few frames, my mind is thinking about nothing else. I used to be pretty good – in 1997, I got to go to Liverpool with the Northern Ireland junior team and met Denis Taylor.

9 Teetotal or tipple?

I only really drink on a special occasion, such as friend's birthday or on a Saturday night.

10 Stairs or lift?

I’m very claustrophobic, so I’m never in lifts. I don’t know how it started, but I freak out a bit when I'm in them. As a result, I always take the stairs.

11 Do you have a daily exercise regime?

I go to the gym six times a week, but I don’t really have a routine. My rule is: if it’s there, I’ll lift it. I just have fun in the gym; I think that’s what it’s all about.

12 Best tip for everyday fitness?

Jog to the fridge every time you go to it to get something out of it...

13 On a scale of one to 10, how fit do you think you are and how fit would you like to be?

Honestly? A 10 at the minute. My GP actually told me recently that he hadn’t seen anything like it. I was quite embarrassed, actually.

14 Have you tried, or would you try, alternative therapy?

No, but I’m game for whatever.

15 Were school sports happy times or do you have a memory you would rather forget?

I enjoyed any time out of the classroom! At school, I mainly played badminton and athletics. I liked swimming too.

16 Did you ever have a health epiphany which made you change your lifestyle?

I got diagnosed with Crohn's disease around five years ago. I genuinely still don’t know really what it is, but I got an hour-long stand-up show out of it.

17 Best health/lifestyle advice you were ever given and would pass on to others?

I listen to local fitness guy Dave Elliott’s podcast and he stresses that any injuries you might have should never stop you working out. He broke his shoulder doing CrossFit and said he healed it with 'reps'.

18 Who inspires you or who would you try to emulate in terms of fitness / attitude to life?

I think I get inspired a lot by Katie Price. She doesn’t really care what people think of her and she just does 'her' – I like that sort of attitude.

19 What time do you normally get to bed and do you get enough sleep?

I go to bed around 8.45/9pm. I think I do get enough sleep, but if I’m tired, I just sleep through the day.

20 Would you say you have a healthy attitude towards your own mortality?

Sometimes I take things too seriously. But I’m trying to be more easy-going. I think I’m just... me?

:: Shane Todd's 2019 The Toddfather tour will be calling at the Waterfront Hall this Saturday. Remaining dates at the Riverside Theatre, Coleraine, October 4; Daly's, Omagh, October 5; the Ardowen, Enniskillen, October 18.

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